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Central European countries among safest in the EU

Prague, Czech Republic – According to data released last week by Eurostat, the EU statistical office, Central European nations rank among the safest countries in Europe.

Visegrad Group countries among safest in the EU

With respectively 5.4% and 6.2% of the population reporting, in 2017, crime, violence or vandalism in their area, Poland and Slovakia are the second and third safest countries in the EU. They’re only topped by Croatia (3% of the population).

With 7.2% of the population reporting last year such incidences of criminal activity, Hungary takes the 5th spot, while the Czech Republic only ranks as the 13th safest country throughout the EU (9.3% of the population). Despite those regional differences, all the Central European countries remain below the EU average of 11.6%.

At the other end of the scope, the worst results were reported in Bulgaria, where nearly 25% of the respondents reported crime, violence or vandalism in their area, followed by the Netherlands (15%) and Germany (14.2%).

A low rate of police-recorded offenses

The survey was carried out as part of the EU’s continuous monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDG’s, and isn’t based on actual hard facts about crime rates in European countries. Their ranking is however confirmed if we take a look at official police-recorded offenses in Europe.

The burglary rate in the EU was among the lowest in Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic (below 100 burglaries per 100.000 people), while intentional homicides were also incredibly low in Poland and the Czech Republic (less than 1 per 100.000 inhabitants), although slightly higher in Slovakia and Hungary.

The Czech Republic, seventh safest country in the world

According to the Institute for Economics and Peace’s 2018 Global Peace Index, one of the most well-researched and thorough rankings on the topic which takes into account a wide array of factors, including ongoing domestic and international conflict, level of harmony or discord within a society and indicators linked to militarization and military spending, the Czech Republic ranks as the 7th safest country in the world in 2018 – losing one spot compared to the previous year.

It’s followed by Hungary (17th, -2), Slovakia (26th, -4) and Poland (32nd, +1). Worldwide, Iceland came out on top and secures, once more, the title of the world’s safest country, followed by New Zealand and Austria.

2018 Global Peace Index – Institute for Economics and Peace

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.